A judge on Thursday sentenced an Alabama teenager to 65 years in prison for a series of crimes, including murder, even though a police officer was the one who actually killed the victim.
Lakeith Smith, now 18, was convicted under the state’s accomplice liability law in March. Based on that law, a person can be convicted of murder if they were committing a crime with the deceased that led to the other person’s death, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. In Smith’s case, he was involved in burglaries alongside A’Donte Washington, 16, when a police officer shot and killed Washington in 2015.
In February 2015, both Smith and Washington were part of a group of five who broke into two houses in Millbrook, Alabama, the Advertiser reports. When police responded to the scene, the two sides exchanged gunfire. Body camera footage played in court showed Washington running towards an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer then shot and killed Washington.
Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds sentenced Smith to 65 years in prison on Thursday — 30 years for a felony murder, 15 for burglary and two 10-year sentences for theft.